Sunday, 19 April 2015


In reference to Giorgio Armani's privacy regarding his sexuality, John Arlidge writes in today's The Sunday Times Magazine that "even though fashion is the easiest profession in the world to work as a gay man, Armani is still worried that sales in Asia might fall if he dropped the mask." 

In 2013, Pew Research Centre revealed that "majorities in South Korea (59%) and China (57%) also say homosexuality should not be accepted by society; 39% and 21%, respectively, say it should be accepted. South Korean views, while still negative, have shifted considerably since 2007, when 77% said homosexuality should be rejected and 18% said it should be accepted by society."

There are an estimated 27 and 30 million homosexuals in China, "with 18 to 20 million gay men and 9 to 10 million gay women". But "a deeply traditional culture that demands young people get married and have children to continue the family line, as a sign of one's filial duty" puts pressure on many. This traditional demand is intensified by China's one-child policy.

Some gay men and lesbians purse a formality marriage, known as Xinghun. Whilst this does enforce a heteronormative narrative, it is certainly less suppressive than one of the alternative solutions, which Tang Kuiyu has been investigating.

The professor from the College of Humanities at Harbin Institute of Technology released his findings from a study titled 'Social Adaptation of Women who Marry Gay Men' this week. From his research, he concluded that "more than 90% of the women surveyed reported they had suffered domestic violence, including emotional abuse and physical aggression" at the hands of their homosexual partners. Less than a third later opted to divorce.

It would seem that this line from Arlidge's The Sunday Times Magazine article could be in relation to many homosexuals in China - not just the Italian Fashion Designer and billionaire: "Improbable though it may seem to a western audience who have long assumed he is gay and not cared, many consumers in more conservative emerging markets, notably China think he is straight."

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Alan Turing's Legacy currently hosts a petition calling for the British Government to pardon all of the estimated 49,000 men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under the British "gross indecency" law (only repealed in 2003).

In response to the petition, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said:
Alan Turing and the thousands of other men should never have been prosecuted. It is utterly wrong that so many people were convicted simply for being who they are. 
The Liberal Democrats and I will work to make sure those with convictions for consensual homosexual activity between adults are pardoned. It should never have been a crime in the first place.
The petition was set up by The Advocate's Matthew Breen, who was inspired to campaign after watching The Imitation Game. The film shows Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, lead Britain to win the war against Hitler before being convicted of gross indecency. It's this conviction which lead to the mathematical genius' suicide in 1954.

As part of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, the law was changed "to allow men convicted of homosexual activity to apply for a “disregard” to make their conviction “spent”." However, this petition calls for the onus to be on the government, as opposed to the individual convicted for simply 'being who they are'.

Regardless of whether the petition is successful in securing pardons for all those convicted of consenting same-sex relations under the "gross indecency" law, Alan Turing will now no longer be heralded as just a war hero - but also as a human rights pioneer.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Vote Alexis

Remember Season 8 of Dynasty? When Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan ran against Blake, in the battle to become state governor?


Joan Collins was up to her legendary tricks during this evening's Leader's Debate, publicly criticising the candidates on twitter.


In John Barrowman's recent interview with The Advocate, "When asked if he thought American audiences were ready to see a gay superhero like Flash or Arrow in a series of their own, he replies, 'Personally, I don’t care if they are, or not. It’s time we had one.'"

Barrowman's call for an on screen gay superhero comes just a few months after DC Comics announced a solo series for the world's first gay male superhero, Midnighter. "Midnighter, created in 1998 by the writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch, first appeared along with his long-term partner (now husband) Apollo as part of DC’s Wildstorm Comics imprint."

But when Midnighter is released in June 2015, the character will be single. Writer Steve Orlando explains, "Midnigher realizes he doesn’t know how to define himself as a gay man, without Apollo. That’s not healthy. That’s a broken adult relationship. Their relationship has a profound effect on the series."

2009 almost saw Hero, "a young-adult novel about Thom Creed, who is coping with high school, his sexual orientation and budding superpowers", make it to the small screen but the American cable channel, Showtime, didn't commit after optioning.

Perhaps the success of Midnighter on the new-stands (pre-order Midnighter here) will determine whether a TV series or film about a gay superhero will be produced.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Demons in the closet

As far as I was concerned, the phrase 'gay demon' was a reference to Russell Tovey playing a Werewolf in Being Human.

According to the Daily Star, the co-pilot who caused the Germanwings plane crash killing all passengers and crew was "haunted by secret gay demons".

Twitter's response to the headlines have been positively demonic. "Gay Demons give you the willies" tweeted @ColinA2911; "I have gay demons. Constantly telling me how bad my outfit is" tweeted @danthompson78; "Phew. So it's only depressed people confused about their sexuality that are dangerous. That's a relief then!" tweeted @iainlee

No doubt Stonewall will be setting up a Gay Demons helpline in the coming days. 

Indiana requires more Wrecking Balls

After signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Republican Governer Mike Pence says “many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.”

So why has Miley Cyrus come in like a wrecking ball to call him "an asshole" on her instagram account?

After the federal courts over-turning of Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage last year, this brand-new law for Indiana could allow business owners (such as bakers, florists and photographers) the opportunity to object to participating in same-sex weddings.

The bill states: a state or local government action may not substantially burden a person's right to the exercise of religion.

An Indiana business owner called 100.9FM to declare his excitement at no longer having to blame "a mechanical failure in the kitchen in order to refuse service to a gay couple." Full audio of his interview can be heard here:

George Takei, in Elton John stle, has called for a boycott of Indiana. This has already been supported by a number of companies and organisations, including and San Francisco's Mayor Edwin M Lee:
Effective immediately, I am directing City Departments under my authority to bar any publicly-funded City employee travel to the State of Indiana that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety. San Francisco taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by the State of Indiana.
So Miley is absolutely right - or as Dan Savage puts it "Shitty governor makes shitty state even shittier by signing shitty legislation."

Friday, 27 March 2015

Just Jack is back

Will & Grace star Sean Hayes and husband, Scott Icenogle, have been lip-synching for their newly-wedded lives. The couple, who married in November 2014, shared a home-video on Facebook of themselves performing Iggy Azeala and Jennifer Hudson's 'Trouble'.

So, there's this.
Posted by Sean Hayes on Thursday, March 26, 2015

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